IN BLOOM: Plumeria

It's April and you know what that means... The start of one of our favorite seasons: Plumeria Season. So what does one do with herself during this glorious time of year? Press pause, take a walk around the neighborhood and enjoy the view (and smell). 

With dozens of species and hybrids, you can find plumerias in almost every shade of white, red, pink, and yellow. Their fragrance varies by species, with some recalling sweet fruit punch and some with more delicate floral notes.  We love them all- it's almost impossible to pick a favorite.

If you're interested in growing your own plumeria tree, don't waste your time looking for and sprouting seeds. Simply find the tree you admire most, ask for permission, and propagate a cutting.  You can do this by cutting a branch 1-2 feet from the tip, letting the cutting dry out for at least a week, and then planting it in soil with good drainage. 

Tada! Plumerias for everyone! 


If you haven't visited Lyon Arboretum in Manoa Valley, do it. Like this week. The UH owned arboretum is one of our favorite spots on the island: a lush corner of the valley full of rare plants, meandering well kept trails, and yes giant screaming tropical birds.

Visiting Lyon with a picnic is always fun, but did you know they also have a full line up of classes? Check out sessions on indigo dying, botanical jewelry crafting, and DIY tree pruning.  See ya there!


We're STILL obsessed with baby pineapples. We use them in all their forms; on stems in arrangements, loose to adorn our desks, and growing tall (and ridiculously cute) in our favorite terra cotta planters. 

So what to do after you're done enjoying your little fruit? 

Just like their larger, edible relatives, miniature pineapples can be sprouted into new plants. 

All you'll need are these: A cutting board, three toothpicks, a small vessel filled with water, a sharp (preferably serrated) knife and most importantly, your baby pineapple. 


First, remove the top by cutting about an inch below the crown.  



Then, gently twist the remaining meat off the crown. 

Your deconstructed pineapple should now consist of three parts. 



Peel the base leaves from the crown until you are left with something that looks like this. We ended up peeling off about three layers. 

Poke three toothpicks into the base of your crown (about an inch to a half inch higher than the base) making a triangle formation. This will allow the crown to suspend above the water, preventing rot. 

Your finished product should look like this. 

Be sure the base of your pineapple top is always touching the water and that your water is always clean. Use hydrogen peroxide to clean your vessel weekly to avoid bacteria build up. Place your vessel somewhere with a decent amount of indirect sunlight and in a matter of weeks, your pineapple should begin to sprout a new root system. Once a substantial amount of roots have been established, your baby pineapple is ready to be replanted! 


An Evening of Haku with Meleana Estes

We've just added two workshop dates with our friend, designer and expert lei maker, Meleana Estes. Join us for a special evening where she passes on the beautiful tradition of haku, teaching us from an overflowing collection of local and temperate flowers and foliages. And yes, there will be cocktails!

Easter Workshop with Wrappily

Join Sara Smith from Wrappily for this festive Easter workshop. Sara will be guiding us in creating blooming easter baskets and colorful seed bomb 'eggs' using her favorite medium- gorgeous Wrappily paper.  Enjoy your creations for the Easter weekend then plant your 'eggs' to sprout a beautiful, pollinator friendly, wildflower garden.   

Signup for all of our workshops at


I'm sure by now you've heard all about the latest addition to our shop: ARVO. And just when you thought having an Australian coffee bar in your favorite neighborhood wasn't exciting enough, they brought us this ... *drumroll* ... A BOOZY BRUNCH. 

And what better day to kick off the new tradition than Valentine's Day. Just in case you missed it, here are a bunch of photos to get you pumped for the next big one. 

Don't forget about the mimosa bar, stocked with fresh fruits and juices. 

Matcha chia pudding with fresh fruit and a matcha whip, loaded avocado toast, and their latest green tea lattes are just a few of the things you can all look forward to. 

These ARVO sessions will be happening monthly and we can't wait to see you at the next one! Stay posted for more details.

photos and story by Kenna Reed


Without fail, anytime our flower bar is stocked with these beauties, people come running. I present to you, the King Protea. 

The King Protea has the largest bloom in the massive protea family. Native to South Africa, they grow as a shrub and bloom most prolifically in the winter. The large "flower" is actually a collection of tiny true flower heads surrounded by colorful bracts that can be white, yellow, red, or the most sought after, pink. 

paiko king protea

Proteas love extreme weather conditions: dry summers and cold wet winters, so your efforts at growing them in Honolulu will be poorly rewarded. But lucky for us, the temperate climate on the high slopes of the Big Island and Maui provide perfect conditions for these artichoke-like bad boys. We work with a handful of small farms to stay stocked.


Cut the stems at an angle when you get home to get them drinking. Keep your kings fresh with water changes every few days and a floral preservative. Make your own preservative with a tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide, a teaspoon of lemon, and a teaspoon of sugar.

And did mention they dry beautifully? When your arrangement looks tired, hang the kings upside-down to dry (this helps preserve their shape), then enjoy them for years.

image from

image from


Photos by Kenna Reed unless noted
Written by Kenna Reed

Christmas at Paiko

The construction wall is down, our halls are decked, and we're ramping up for Christmas like a boss. Here are a few ideas for making your home festive and your friends happy.

Fresh wreaths made by the lovely Paiko ladies. Don't forget you can also sign up for a workshop and make your own!

Kokedama moss balls in all species and sizes! And another holiday workshop option. 

Nunu ornaments. These intricate little sea critters are made with locally sourced natural materials by an A-nunu-mous local artist. 

Dried wreaths made by our friends over at Lyons Arboretum in Manoa. These beauties are made with locally sourced materials and can be used for years to come. 

Your favorite llamas made by local artist, Dee Oliva. Now with a holiday twist! Llamas gotta stay warm during the chilly Hawaiian winter.

Pareos from Kealopiko's latest collection. 

Potted local orchids (this one's about to bloom!) in some of our classic terra cotta wash pot planters.

See ya in the shop soon! 

Photos by Kenna Reed
Written by Kenna Reed



Azuma Makoto

Some artists work with paint, and some with clay; Azuma Makoto works with plants. His fantastical living sculptures and installations harness the mysterious energy embodied in the botanical, giving credibility to the often dismissed medium of flowers. And yes, last year he sent a bonzai tree and floral sculpture into space for his piece Exobiotanica.
Here at Paiko we are in awe of Makoto, and you will be too. 

Plant Man, 2015

Plant Man, 2015

Exobiotanica, 2014

Exobiotanica, 2014

Iced Flowers, 2014

Iced Flowers, 2014

In Bloom #2, 2015

In Bloom #2, 2015

Petal Box, 2015

Petal Box, 2015

All photos from

Paiko Ohana: Deanna Rose and Tantalus Mist

Deep in the lush backroads of Manoa Valley, you'll find a mossy cottage where none other than Deanna Rose resides. Her company, Indigo Elixirs, focuses on bringing medicinal and beauty products made with "love and pure, local, healing, botanical ingredients." It's in this tiny cottage, that each product is hand-made.  

This week we debut our new collaboration with Indigo Elixirs, 'Tantalus', a light room and body mist inspired by life in the Tantalus jungle above Honolulu (the neighborhood of Paiko founder Tamara Rigney).  Locally sourced Hawaiian sandalwood and vetiver are the base of this fresh and intoxicating scent, available exclusively at Paiko.



Can you describe how you and Tamara came up with the Tantalus scent?

The idea for the spray was inspired by Tamara's lush jungle oasis of a home on the ridge. When we began brainstorming ideas for an elixir, she said that she wanted to create something that truly captured the essence of Tantalus - the eucalyptus trees with overtones of fresh flora and undertones of smoke lingering from a neighbor's house. We spent a day wandering around up there, first throughout the land surrounding her house and then along Round Top Drive. We got into the car of a friend who happened to be driving by, taking in the air and stopping to crush and inhale fallen eucalyptus leaves and other roadside flowers. After becoming significantly inspired, we headed back to her house and mixed up the scent, drop by drop of essential oil into a base of the vetiver essential hydrosol. 

paiko tantalus mist

How did you get into herbal medicine?

In the beginning, I just wanted to create something that could cure my frizzy Armenian hair and dry Northeastern skin. Inspired to use ingredients that were already growing in our family's garden or stocked in our kitchen, I began concocting recipes just for myself, and then for family and friends. By the time I was a senior in college, I had developed a small line of products under the name Indigo Elixirs. I started selling at local farmers' markets, and customers were quick to ask for more healing items that could relieve topical ailments such as eczema and pain. This led me to sign up for my first herbal apprenticeship at a farm called Misty Meadows in New Hampshire, where I learned the fundamentals of making medicine. I immediately fell in love with the art, and have been studying herbalism ever since. 

Why did you come to Hawaii?

I grew up in Massachusetts, and moved out to the West Coast to live on an old steamship when I was in my early twenties. After a year of living in the quiet, retired hippie houseboat community outside of San Francisco, I felt compelled to continue my herbal studies in a more tropical environment. I started searching for Ethnobotany graduate programs, and UH Manoa is what comes up first on the google search.  I had made a few friends from O'ahu in the Bay, and while I had never been to Hawaii, I felt compelled to try it out. Not long after I moved here and was enrolled as a full-time student, I realized that the program was just not what I was looking for - but I kept getting signs telling me to stay, and quickly fell in love with the island. Eventually, I found a grad program that perfectly suited my interests, and I am currently getting my Masters in Acupuncture & Herbology from the World Medicine Institute in 'Aina Haina. 


What are some things you have access to in Hawaii that you don’t find anywhere else?

Hawaii has a super unique set of flora - after moving here, my line went through a complete metamorphosis so that I could truly reflect what the islands have to offer. A few of my favorite materials include vetiver grass, which my friend  Jason of Vetiver Farms Hawaii grows & distills on Big Island, to yield a beautiful green essential oil and bluish hydrosol that we used as a base for our Tantalus elixir. I also get a wonderful sandalwood essential oil from my friend Tyson of Malama distillations, which I also added to the blend. I love the Hawaiian cacao that I get from the folks at Madre Chocolate - I infuse their shells leftover from chocolate making into my Mocha Rose Stain, Chocolate Balm & Hot Mint Chocolate Bar. Achiote is another local favorite, whose colorful oily seeds give my Citrus Blossom Stain its vibrant orangey hue. And I of course am head over heels for all of the fragrant local flowers, particularly the champaka, pikake, plumeria & puakinikini, all of which I regularly rub on my wrists as a 'fresh' perfume. 

What are some of the powers of fragrance? ( i.e. healing, emotional, recalling a time, person, place)

Fragrance is intensely powerful - processed through a separate part of the brain than the rest of our senses, it is deeply connected to both our instincts and emotions. A nostalgic scent can take us back in time... to our grandmother's living room, the summer after high school, a foreign city that we visited long ago. Sometimes we get a hint of something that we can't even quite trace, but it overwhelms us with a familiar feeling. The abilities of the aromatic transfers to medicine, as well: certain properties of herbs need only be inhaled to affect the body. Because essential oils are concentrated, this ability is greatly enhanced, and their scent alone can be used for healing. This is the reason I love to make custom perfumes; it allows me to create a blend that perfectly suits the wearer's aromatic palate. Making the Tantalus scent was a new kind of challenge in this realm, and I had a lot of fun experiencing and taking in that place with the intention of capturing it within a formulation. Now, whenever I immerse myself in the spray, I feel like I've traveled out of the valley and up to the top of the ridge. 


Where’s your favorite place in Hawaii to recharge and get inspired?


My current home in the back of Manoa is a pretty magical space. I have an entire wall of windows that looks onto a little forest of beautiful ferns and wild gingers, and the Manoa stream runs about ten feet from my cottage - when we get a fair amount of rain, the sound of the water rushing by is so rejuvenating. Aside from the elements & animals, it's so quiet back here, and a wonderful space to create. Outside of my house, I love to recharge with a day of sunning & swimming, usually at Makapu'u beach. If I'm seeking inspiration, anywhere lush will do the trick - arboretums, botanical gardens, trails in the back of the valley....

Photos by Kenna Reed 

This Season's Inspiration

After this month's insane heat wave, we were more than ready for Summer to be over. Naturally, our summer displays had to go and we were on the prowl for some Fall inspo. After some late night pinning and flips through our favorite reads, we set eyes on the mothership of all inspiration. Let's just say, the only Coco's we're obsessed with aren't just coconuts. This season our display inspiration came from Chanel's 2015 Haute Couture Spring Fashion Show. After watching the show about a dozen times, we "chanel-ed" our inner Coco and got to work. 

We tried to incorporate as much of a Hawaii vibe as possible, tracing monsterra leaves from our yards and pulling colors that resembled the island's tropical flora. 

Photo by Jordan Lee

Photo by Jordan Lee

Photo by Jordan Lee

Photo by Jordan Lee

For the full experience, stop by Paiko, grab a latte and enjoy! 


Photos and Story by Kenna Reed (unless specified otherwise) 

Botanical Basics: Twinkle Orchids

Recently, we’ve been very into little orchids: dendrobium orchids, lady-slipper orchids, and our personal favorite: twinkle orchids.

Before they bloom, Oncidium, “twinkle,” orchids appear to be a pretty basic orchid, exposed roots, thick dark green rounded leaves and “twig-like” sprays. However, when their tiny buds open, they put out a constellation of delicate miniature orchid flowers with a sweetness reminiscent of vanilla.  

Our twinkle orchids at Paiko are most often white and yellow, but they also come in various shades of red. Larger growths can produce up to a hundred miniature blooms usually in the winter and once in the summer. 

Taking home your very own Twinkle Orchid? Here are a few tips on how to ensure it lives the best possible life. Since the plant is miniature it’s able to live its entire life in one container, and don't be alarmed if you see roots peek out- these plants actually enjoy being root-bound and exposed roots are just searching for a little air. Ideally use a special orchid mix, which usually contains a mixture of bark and peat moss.

Twinkles do well indoors. Avoid direct sunlight and find a nice naturally lit area of your house. This also helps to maintain an appropriate temperature, and note that twinkle orchids are not fans of quick temperature change. Water your orchid just before the soil completely dries out- about 2 times per week. Gently water the roots and potting mix, allowing any excess water to drain through through. To ensure a long flowering span, fertilize monthly when flowering.

Simple Care Breakdown:

Lighting: Partial to full shade, no direct sunlight.
Watering: Water just before plant starts to dry out, soaking soil, but draining any excess water to avoid root rot.
Fertilizer: Monthly when flowering, every few months otherwise.



Photos (unless otherwise noted) and Story by Kenna Reed 




Fruity Fun at Frankies

You only have to drive through Waimanalo once to know that it's filled with plant nurseries. With nearly every telephone pole stapled with homemade plant sale flyers and arrows pointing you in all directions, we plant lovers have a hard time resisting this treasure box of green goodies.

Deep in Waimanalo, at the base of the Koolau mountains, you'll find one of our favorite nurseries: Frankie's. The long driveway lined with a mixed bag of fruit trees is an appropriate introduction to what you can expect at this one-of-a-kind local gem. Specializing in tropical and sub-tropical fruit trees, the owners travel bi-annually to various countries seeking new species of fruit that will successfully grow in Hawai'i.

Frankie, himself, grafting baby avocado trees.

Frankie, himself, grafting baby avocado trees.

After 30+ years of business, it's no surprise that Frankie and his family have developed an affinity for the most unique, rare fruits available. And as humble as they seem, the people of Frankie's Nursery are more than ready for you to rack their brains and answer any questions you might have about every fruit from Wax Jambu to Rambutan. 

Jackfruit on shelves. 

Jackfruit on shelves. 

That being said, what we're really hear to tell you about has nothing to do with buying fruit trees. Although walking the grounds is an absolute must, our favorite part of Frankie's can be found right at the main house, where you're taken to at check out. 


In a small patio area lined with metal tables and bins, you'll be surrounded by fruits harvested from the nursery. Unlike your typical fruit stand selling coconuts and pineapples, Frankie's prides themselves in selling every fruit you've never heard of.

Mangosteen on table.

Mangosteen on table.

Even the fruit that appears to be more common, like mango, are probably a rare variety that you never knew existed. Of course they are, it's Frankie's! 

Boxed pitaya/dragonfruit. 

Boxed pitaya/dragonfruit. 

Keitt mangos in tray. 

Keitt mangos in tray. 

Pineapple tops being prepped for planting. 

Pineapple tops being prepped for planting. 

Dwarf wi apple in basket

Dwarf wi apple in basket


By Kenna Reed
Photos by Kenna Reed shot on a Contax T3


A Hop Over to the Big Island

We took a trekk over to the Big Island last week to visit our favorite protea farm and do some exploring.  Although protea are most prolific in the winter, there were many blooms popping their bright heads out, in addition to groves of sweetly scented eucalyptus and wax flower.  After a lovely day of lunch and roaming the grounds with our farmers, we headed up to Volcano National Park for some adventuring in the tree ferns. 

Photographer Mariko Reed was along on this trip to gather images for an upcoming book with Paiko's Tamara Rigney (to be released next spring through Paiko Press- stay tuned for more info!)

paiko protea
paiko protea 1
paiko mariko reed
paiko banksia
paiko ferns
paiko hilo

photos and story by Tamara Rigney